The Love Nest

The Love Nest ★★★½

"The story of a man who lost his interest in women and everything else."

Oh, it's my autobiography! Predicted 60 years before I was born.

It's Buster Keaton's final two-reeler before he moved on to his string of successful and lauded feature-length works, The Love Nest has its very funny moments and an overall arc of sweetness that makes for an enjoyable 20 minutes, but it already felt like he was saving his best gags and stunts for the upcoming bigger movies of the mid-1920s.

Setting sail on the Cupid after his love cancelled their engagement, Buster is running away from it all. Several days later he encounters the whaling ship The Love Nest in the open ocean, led by the burly and merciless captain (Joe Roberts). Buster is taken in though and initially treated well, despite seeing brutal discipline on the crew. The captain is so harsh that he throws off enough men to make Buster an honorary member of the crew, as the ship's steward. Better not face his wrath!

Hijinks ensue, of course, and the comedy comes twofold: from the goofy mistakes and pratfalls, and from Buster somehow avoiding the fate of all the men tossed overboard. Longtime Keaton veteran Joe Roberts gets a far more significant supporting role than in many other shorts, so much so that I'd call him the co-star. He's great, as always; he knows his type is "menacing" and leans into it.

Stunts and super brief hilarious jokes really hit in this one, with nearly all the action confined to a boat like the later features The Navigator and the wonderful Steamboat Bill, Jr.. Funny and memorable, and a nice way to end his run of short films.

Friend who wrote a better review than me: BrianNaas.

Added to Buster Keaton ranked.
Added to Edward F. Cline ranked.

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